Donald Trump in Historical Perspective: Dead Precedents is a collection of chapters that utilizes the thinking of historians, philosophers, and political scientists to explore historical parallels to the presidency of Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America.
This collection provides an extensive analysis on the ways Trump’s impulsiveness, breaking of norms, and disregard for longstanding democratic pieties, caused him to represent a definitive end to the "American century," an era when American self-confidence, steadiness, and leadership, even in the face of titanic challenges, were almost universally taken for granted. Yet this book also argues how in the longer sweep of history, Trump is a familiar figure in the turbulent life of democracies. These in-depth chapters reveal the ways Trump represents the anti-institutionalist, the populist demagogue, the would-be authoritarian who exploits electoral and political vulnerabilities to gain and hold power. Through these detailed evaluations, these chapters suggest that Trump is not radically unique, but that democracies have produced many previous versions of the Trump phenomenon.
This book is essential reading for scholars and students in political science, political theory, history, and leadership. This book is also noteworthy for readers interested in key developments in contemporary American democracy. One of its greatest appeals is its extensive look into leadership on an international scale, from Donald Trump’s global significance to various explorations of non-American leaders, and the comparisons that can be made.
Table of Contents
Ronald E. Riggio
1. Introduction: History’s Rhymes
2. Plutarch and the precedents for Dead Precedents
Mallory Monaco Caterine
3. The Politics of Anger: Donald Trump and Cleon of Athens
Mark A. Menaldo
4. Plato’s Tyrant and Donald Trump's (In)authentic Leadership."
5. Politics as Theater: Trump and Machiavelli’s Political Actors
6. Populism from Above: Donald Trump, Andrew Jackson, and the Politics of White Vengeance
7. Idols of Consumption: From Mussolini to Trump
8. Donald Trump, Mao Zedong and Religious Anti-Intellectualism
9. From Dog Whistles to Fog Horns: Richard Nixon, Donald Trump, and Their Silent Majorities
10. Conclusion: In the Twilight of Trump’s Idols
Mark A. Menaldo and Michael Harvey
Michael Harvey is Provost and Dean, Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.